Word of the day

January 14, 2019

Zopisssa – a mixture of pitch and tar, impregnated with salt water, scraped from the sides of ships, formerly used in external applications as having resolutive and desiccative properties.


Thatcher thinks

January 14, 2019


Rural round-up

January 14, 2019

The answer is in the soil – Annette Scott:

Regenerative agriculture flies in the face of conventional farming wisdom with soil management the key to profiting from nature, Canterbury cropping farmer Simon Osborne says. Annette Scottvisited him onfarm to learn what it’s about.

Farming for yield is not farming for profit, Simon Osborne, who is passionate about his stewardship of the land, says.

He has a clear focus on farming for profit from natural resources and biodiversity with the firm belief that a paradigm shift in agriculture can hugely boost farmer profits and crop diversity, curb pests and eliminate the need for tilling, pesticides and herbicides. . .

Report shows dairy’s role in economy – Hugh Stringleman:

The dairy industry has commissioned and released a valuable report on its scale and importance that should be widely used by dairy leaders, Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis says.

Facts and figures from the wide-ranging report by NZIER would be used for making submissions to local and national government.

“Dairy farmers know just how inter-dependent we are with local suppliers, tradespeople, and employees, and this report highlights that,” Lewis said. . . 

Fewer herds but more milk – Sudesh Kissun:

New Zealand’s dairy sector is evolving, with the latest data showing a shift to fewer herds and a greater focus on their performance.

According to the New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2017-18 report, published by DairyNZ and LIC, there were 11,590 dairy herds last season – 158 fewer than the previous season. This was the third year of decreasing herd numbers, but the average herd size increased by 17 cows to 431.

The total 2017-18 cow population was 4.99 million, an increase of 2.7% from the previous season but still below the peak population of at least 5.01m cows in the 2014-15 season. . .

Dairy expanison over as farmers look to other sectors – Gerald Piddock:

The days of endless dairy growth fuelled by farm sales appear to be over as farmers look to elsewhere instead of chasing the white gold.

Dairy expansion, whether it’s from land conversions or farmers buying existing farms appears to have slowed from the heady days of 2014’s dairy land price boom.

Instead, latest figures show an easing of land values and large numbers or properties remaining unsold throughout the spring and summer – traditionally the busiest period of the year for farm sales. . . 

Female ranchers are reclaiming the American west – Amy Chozick:

As men leave animal agriculture for less gritty work, more ranches are being led by women — with new ideas about technology, ecology and the land.

Hundreds of years before John Wayne and Gary Cooper gave us a Hollywood version of the American West, with men as the brute, weather-beaten stewards of the land, female ranchers roamed the frontier. They were the indigenous, Navajo, Cheyenne and other tribes, and Spanish-Mexican rancheras, who tended and tamed vast fields, traversed rugged landscapes with their dogs, hunted, and raised livestock. 

The descendants of European settlers brought with them ideas about the roles of men and women, and for decades, family farms and ranches were handed down to men. Now, as mechanization and technology transform the ranching industry, making the job of cowboy less about physical strength — though female ranchers have that in spades — and more about business, animal husbandry and the environment, women have reclaimed their connection to the land. . .

Big tomo in the ground attracts tourists – Benn Bathgate:

First came the tomo – then the tourists.

Speaking eight months after a huge tomo developed on the Tumunui South farm he manages outside Rotorua, manager Colin Tremain said he didn’t regret posting on social media about the huge hole, even though the reaction took him by surprise.

Shortly after posting photos of the sinkhole Tremain said the media arrived, then the scientists, then the locals, then the tourists. . .

 


We need green not greenwash

January 14, 2019

Danyl Mclauchlan says the political process isn’t working and people don’t care about climate change.

He is right that the political process isn’t working. In many cases is making matters worse.

He’s wrong in saying people don’t care about the environment including climate change.

But they also care about people and the economic and social impact of policies which might or might not save the planet, and will come at a high human and financial cost.

This is why National Party climate change spokesman, Todd Muller, is looking for not only a bi-partisan approach but one which isn’t blinded by green ideology:

We are not a party of “climate villains” dragging our feet as they would paint, but rather a party of economic and environmental pragmatists who are taking a principled approach to climate change: allowing science to paint the picture, with technology leading the way, pacing ourselves at the pace of our competitors, and being relentlessly honest about the economic implications of the transition. . . 

National takes climate change seriously. That’s why have I been working behind the scenes with James Shaw negotiating a framework for an Independent Climate Change Commission to take the short-term politics out of what is a very long-term issue and guide the response of successive future governments.

Generation Zero is trying to paint climate change as a partisan issue, with the Labour and Green Party in one corner, and National in the other.

We are seeking to move climate change beyond partisan politics to provide stability to this issue. National is proud of its record on climate issues, but those who are dead set on New Zealand always moving harder and faster no matter the cost, often under the guise of “ambition”, will never let the truth get in the way of a good story. . .

That cost isn’t only a financial and social one. It would be an environmental one if, for example, the dark green calls for drastic reductions in stock numbers here led to increases in other countries where farming practices are far less efficient.

Another example of policy on the hoof leading to more emissions, not less, is the oil and gas ban.

The key difference in policy has been the Labour Government’s ban on oil and gas exploration – a change of direction that the National Party continues to oppose vigorously. This decision was pure politics with the Government’s own officials advising that banning oil and gas would cost our economy billions of dollars and likely lead to an increase in global emissions.

The people of Taranaki don’t need a “safe space” to “grieve the change of identity”. What the people of Taranaki need is economic certainty and a Government that isn’t blinded by Green ideology.

National is ambitious when it comes to climate action. We are also ambitious for New Zealand. It is absolutely critical that we move – but let’s not move at a pace that leaves businesses and communities behind and puts our economy at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world.

Modelling provided to the Minister for Climate Change by NZIER indicated that achieving an all-gases zero emissions target by 2050 would reduce New Zealand wages by 60 per cent and GDP by 40 per cent. This may be palatable to Generation Zero, but I doubt the rest of New Zealand would agree.

It’s sadly ironical that some of the people calling loudest for reducing poverty are also calling loudest for radical environmental policies that will hit the poor hardest.

New Zealand is already a low-wage economy with at best modest growth in GDP. A 60% drop in wages and a 40% fall in GDP would be devastating for us all.

When our total emissions account for 0.17 per cent of total global emissions, leadership isn’t being first, fast and famous.

Leadership is taking what we already do well, food production, and doing it even better over time by investing in innovation and technology.

The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, is an example of putting money into science to reduce emissions without reducing production and making food more expensive.

While all parties are working together to support New Zealand playing its part on climate change, we can’t ignore the reality that, ultimately, it will be decisions made in Washington, Beijing, Moscow and New Delhi – not Wellington – that will determine the level of warming we will see over coming centuries.

Future generations will thank us for working with, and at the pace of, global partners.

A cleaner, greener world requires us all to think globally and act locally but the thinking and acting must be based on science not politics.

That is the only way to get green policies, not greenwash.

 


Quote of the day

January 14, 2019

Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals – Albert Schweitzer who as born on this day in 1875.


January 14 in history

January 14, 2019

83 BC Marcus Antonius, Roman politician, was born (d. 30 BC).

1129 Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes.

1301 Andrew III of Hungary died, ending the Arpad dynasty.

1514  Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery

1539 Spain annexed Cuba.

1639 The “Fundamental Orders“, the first written constitution that created a government, was adopted in Connecticut.

1724 – King Philip V of Spain abdicated the throne.

1761  The Third Battle of Panipat between the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Marhatas. The Afghan victory changed the course of Indian History.

1784  United States Congress ratified the  Treaty of Paris with Great Britain.

1806  – Charles Hotham, English-Australian soldier and politician, 1st Governor of Victoria, was born (d. 1855)

1814  Treaty of Kiel: Frederick VI of Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden in return for Pomerania.

1845 – Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, English politician, 34th Governor-General of India, was born (d. 1927).

1875 Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian physician, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 1965).

1883 – Nina Ricci, Italian-born French fashion designer (d. 1970)

1886  Hugh Lofting, English author, was born  (d. 1947).

1891 Bob  Fitzsimmons won the world middleweight boxing title.

Bob Fitzsimmons wins world middleweight boxing title

1904  Sir Cecil Beaton, English photographer, was born  (d. 1980).

1907 An earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica killed more than 1,000.Richard Briers, English actor, was born

1938 – Norway claimed Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.

1940  Sir Trevor Nunn, English theatre director and film director, was born.

1941  Faye Dunaway, American actress, was born

1943  Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill began the Casablanca Conference to discuss strategy and study the next phase of World War II.

1943 –  Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to travel via aeroplane while in office when he travelled from Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill.

1948 – Malcolm Simpson, a 14-year-old Nelson schoolboy, discovered the oldest fossils ever found in New Zealand.

14-year-old finds New Zealand’s oldest fossils

1950 – The first prototype of the MiG-17 made its maiden flight.

1952 NBC’s long-running morning news program Today debuted, with host Dave Garroway.

1963 – Jim Sullivan began his broadcasting career at 3ZC in Timaru.

1967  The Human Be-In, took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, launching the Summer of Love. Between 20,000 to 30,000 people attended.

1970 Diana Ross & The Supremes’ final concert appearance at The Frontier Hotel- Las Vegas

1972 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascended the throne, the first Queen of Denmark since 1412 and the first Danish monarch not named Frederick or Christian since 1513.

1994  Samir Patel, American spelling bee winner, was born.

1999 Toronto, Mayor Mel Lastman was the first mayor in Canada to call in the Army to help with emergency medical evacuations and snow removal after more than one meter of snow paralysed the city.

2004 – The national flag of Georgia, the so-called “five cross flag“, was restored to official use after a hiatus of some 500 years.

2005  Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn’s moon Titan

2010 – Yemen declared an open war against the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

2011 – The former president of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled his country to Saudi Arabia after a series of street demonstrations against his regime and corrupt policies, asking for freedom, rights and democracy, considered as the anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution and the birth of the Arab Spring.

2012 – The Pirate Party of Greece was founded, on the model of theSwedish Pirate Party.

2013 – Hockey India League, a professional field hockey league in India launched.

2015 – Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the first-ever free climb of the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

2016 – Jakarta Attacks: Bomb exploded in Jalan MH Thamrin across Sarinah building in Jakarta, Indonesia, followed by a gun battle between suspected terrorist and local police. Two victims and five perpetrators were killed.

Sourced from NZ History Online, the Otago Daily Times & Wikipedia.


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